By Julie Ann Madden
Akron-Westfield Business Manager Jodi Ryan predicted student enrollment may increase by four students next year.
If it does, it would be the first time since the 2008-2009 school year there was an increase.
At the beginning of the current school year, there were 579 students in Grades Preschool-12.
As of April 2, student enrollment had dropped three students to a total of 576 students.
“We’re getting a large Discovergarten-Kindergarten class so I’m anticipating we’re going to go up four students next year,” Ryan told the A-W School Board at their April 8 meeting. That would bring A-W’s enrollment to 583.
Her prediction is based on actual attendance and doesn’t include students who Open Enroll Out.
When asked if that meant there would be three Kindergarten and three first grade teachers this Fall, Grades Preschool-6 Principal Cathy Bobier responded she is looking at different options.
“There could be three Kindergarten and three first grade teachers,” said Bobier. “Using Early Intervention monies and maybe not as many Title teachers or maybe doing a combination class of Kindergarten and first graders.”
“We have to research combination classes because (authorities) say combination classes work well for second/third grade or fourth/fifth grade but Kindergarten/first doesn’t work,” she said.
“There are lots of ideas floating out there but we have to have an (accurate) head count,” said Bobier, noting she was anticipating 49 new Kindergarteners and 16 Discovergarten students this Fall.”
“People are more transient,” she said, explaining the week before there were four new elementary students.
“We need to get (new students) to come right before the certified count (so the district will receive funding for them,” said Board Member Josh Martinsen.
Ryan noted Bobier’s Discovergarten and Kindergarten numbers were different from the April 2 enrollment numbers, therefore, the increase in student enrollment might only be by two students.
After Kindergarten Roundup later in the week, Bobier reported there were 47 new Kindergarteners plus the current 16 Discovergarten students who participated.